Minnesota doesn’t have a standard statewide, district-wide, or school-wide curriculum for sex education. This results in students learning completely different things about sex and reproductive health based off what school or class they are in. It’s important that we create a statewide, inclusive curriculum for comprehensive sex education in Minnesota.
Introduced by Rep. Todd Lippert (DFL-Northfield) and Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury), HF 1414 / SF 2065 would require Minnesota schools to teach medically-accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education.
End of Session Update (June 2019): Did not become law.
The comprehensive sex ed bill had significant support among DFLers who control the Minnesota House of Representatives and was included in the House’s education budget bill. However, Republicans in both the House and Senate strongly opposed the idea and fought hard to get it removed from the final education bill. Ultimately, comprehensive sex ed was not passed this year.
Unfortunately, those same lawmakers who strongly opposed comp sex ed also spread lots of misinformation about what comp sex ed actually is during debate on the House Floor. Check out this video of the House Floor debate, at around the 2:07:00 mark to watch the sex ed debate.
The need for comprehensive sex education is clear. Although the Minnesota teen pregnancy and birth rates are at a historic low, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) continue to increase, especially among people age 15-24 and disparities—by geography, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, and gender identity—persist. Additionally, nearly 14% of Minnesota youth reported violence in their dating relationship and 4.5% reported sexual abuse. Young people deserve comprehensive sex education that incorporates consent and healthy relationships.
The good news?
Medically-accurate sex education works.
Programs that incorporate elements of comprehensive sex education have been shown to: improve academic success; prevent sexual abuse, dating violence, and bullying; help young people develop healthier relationships; delay sexual initiation; reduce unintended pregnancy as well as HIV and other STDs; and reduce sexual health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ+) young people.
There is broad support for sex education in the United States. More than 90 percent of parents support sex education in both middle and high school. The vast majority of parents—including Democrats and Republicans—want this education to include topics like birth control, healthy relationships, abstinence, dating violence and assault, and sexual orientation.
Comprehensive sex education will strengthen our communities. Now is the time for our leaders to stand up for healthy relationships and healthy futures for young people in Minnesota by supporting this important legislation.
Education in Minnesota
Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of comprehensive sex education in Minnesota. Planned Parenthood reaches nearly 50,000 Minnesotans across the lifespan—including young people in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as parents and adults. Trained educators aim to serve the most vulnerable communities to help address health disparities and ensure everyone has access to quality sex education. Planned Parenthood’s comprehensive sex education programs encourage positive, affirming communication between parents and young people around sexuality to help them establish individual values and make healthy decisions.
Tags: Sex Ed